Time-served for Dover Twp. man who caused fatal motorcycle crash
A Dover Township man who killed an acquaintance in a motorcycle crash more than five years ago will be getting out of prison soon, after a York County judge on Tuesday accepted his negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors.
Thomas Jarrod Stone, 27, has spent a total of 353 days locked up in the case so far.
He entered guilty pleas Oct. 1 in the fatal crash and two unrelated cases, but presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner said he wasn't immediately willing to accept the plea agreement and wanted a pre-sentence report done.
The judge rescheduled Stone's sentencing hearing, which was held Tuesday, Nov. 26.
At Tuesday's hearing, first assistant district attorney Tim Barker said fatal crash victim Aaron Groendyk's family didn't oppose the agreement.
Groendyk, of Dover, spent about six weeks in medically induced "twilight" and fought hard to recover, but he died on June 30, 2014, according to his mother, Pam Groendyk.
"It's not enough. It will never be enough," Barker told the judge on behalf of Groendyk's mother and two sisters. But, he said, it's "the strongest option, the best option."
"I am prepared to support the plea as negotiated," Bortner said, explaining that he had wanted more information before deciding on "a case of this magnitude."
Stone had pleaded guilty in October to causing an accident involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, which is a third-degree felony. He also pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats in two unrelated cases in which he threatened his wife's father and brother.
The sentence: Bortner sentenced Stone to a total of time-served to 23 months in York County Prison, plus five years of probation.
Stone is forbidden from having any contact with the Groendyk family, and he must submit to a full mental-health evaluation, the judge ordered. Stone has already undergone a drug and alcohol evaluation, which also is part of the agreement.
Bortner ordered Stone to comply with all recommended counseling and treatment, and also to pay $500 restitution to his father-in-law for damaging the man's property.
Stone's sentence requires he complete the mental-health evaluation and have all services in place — such as counseling and drug treatment — before being released from prison.
He also must have a parole plan in place before being released, Bortner ordered.
"It's over and I'm happy about that," Pam Groendyk said after the hearing. "It's not what I wanted, but I can finally get closure."
She said she hopes Stone takes advantage of the services being offered to him, so he can be a better father to his two young children.
"I hope this gives him the opportunity to get his life together," she said.
Captured in hospital: In a March 19 interview with The York Dispatch, Stone claimed to be in Oregon and said he was working an off-the-books job and selling crack cocaine.
But he was actually in Sumter County, South Carolina, with his pregnant wife, where officials arrested him on March 24 on his outstanding York County criminal warrants.
They found him in a local hospital, police said.
"At the end of the day, if they get me, they get me," Stone said in March. "This is not the endgame."
Stone has been an adult for less than a decade but has already been in and out of York County Prison about a dozen times and has served state prison time, according to prison records.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.